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Data is the new oil

Data, like crude, is most valuable but only when it is refined. A similar analogy was drawn by one of the leading thought leaders of the industry and really who can contend that? The sheer speed at which data is being churned, perhaps the wave of disruption is really a gale. 

Just reflect upon the computing power of AI. The enormity of progress dawns upon us, as we witness machines mimicking humans, even as the threat of labour redundancy looms large. Arguably, it is just a matter of time when we will see widespread commercial applications. The rapid progress in this domain is attributable to copious amount of data sets that are being used to “train” computers.  

The value of data will continue to increase steeply as AI makes greater progress, and perhaps it may not be a stretch to assume that very soon data will become a currency. The other interesting point to note here is, only 20% of world’s data is available in internet, the rest of it (80%) is all privately held – both by organisations and individuals. Once we gain access to that, imagine the progress that machines can make… well it boggles the mind!  

However, it must be borne in mind that it is not enough to have data at a click. Insights gained from data may reveal a path which be different from the time tested one, often synonymous with gut feel. The question is, will leaders be bold enough to change direction? There is always a cost attached to seismic change which has much to do with partial or total overhaul of existing systems, including the bureaucracy. Unsettling all that would be a real challenge for future leaders.

At NILF 2017 later this month in Mumbai (15 – 17 February) we have a very powerful session on this. It’s in the form of a Fireside Chat : Dialing D for Disruption: Is Data the new Oil? Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited will be in conversation with Neelam Dhawan, VP- Global Industries and Strategic Alliances , APJ, HP Enterprise.

You don’t want to miss this as Ambani draws nuggets from his legendary career, and more recently the entire JIO experience. Check out the event calendar here.

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